Renting Your First Office Space? Here Are 10 Top Tips
Here are some tips from Turner Business Centre.
1. Be Strict About Your Budget
Your monthly rent is going to be one of your most significant business expenses, so you want to keep this as low as you can. Many business owners get carried away with their 'dream' property and end up with an inflated rent. Calculate the budget you have available for renting your office space, and stick to it.
2. Consider Additional Expenses
The rent you pay for your office space is unlikely to be the only regular expense. Consider heating, lighting, water, electricity, phones, and broadband, among other things.
3. Make Sure You Understand the Lease
Don't merely take the landlord's word as gospel. Ensure everything you've agreed to is included in the lease, and that there are no hidden surprises. Get your legal representative to go through the lease with you and explain anything you don't understand.
4. Find Out How Repairs Will Be Carried Out
Be wary about taking on responsibility for building repairs, as these should be down to the landlord to sort out. Have something in the lease stating the speed at which repairs should be carried out, and when.
5. Get Advice From a Commercial Property Expert
Finding a suitable office space can be time-consuming and frustrating. A reliable local commercial property expert could save you lots of heartaches and find you an ample office space at a reasonable price.
6. Consider the Building Your Office Space is Within
The building should be secure, with some controlled entry system. You should also consider the amenities the building provides, and whether these are included in your rent.
7. In What Condition Will You Receive the Office Space?
There may be a load of work required before you can move into your new office space. Find out who is responsible for getting the space into the state you need. Is it you, or has the landlord agreed to do the work to secure your tenancy?
8. What Are You Allowed to Customize?
There is bound to be something that you want to change about the office space. Moving a few desks and refreshing the paintwork is one thing, but knocking down walls to create more space is another. Make sure you know the extent of what you can customise. If in doubt, check with your landlord before you start any work.
9. Consider the Length of Your Lease
Don't get carried away by being offered a great deal on the rent for an extended lease. For your first office space, you should avoid a long term commitment. You can consider these when you know how well your business will do.
10. Get An Early Exit Clause Written Into The Lease
You could benefit from an early exit clause if your business does incredibly well and expands rapidly or goes the other way and has to downgrade. Either way, an early exit clause is something you should have included in the lease.
Co-Working or Serviced Office Space - Which Best Suits Your Needs?
In your search for new office space, you have a few options available to you. As well as a traditional office, you can choose either co-working spaces or a serviced office.
If you've never considered either of these two options, this short guide aims to inform you about the difference between serviced offices and co-working spaces. You will then be better positioned to choose which one of these is the right solution for your business.
Serviced Office Space
This type of office space comes with several advantages, such as:
- Administrative Support. Generally, the offices are managed by a company providing building and administrative support.
- Convenience. Everything is ready to go with a serviced office, so you merely need to move in and start work.
- Dedicated Spaces. These office spaces come with dedicated spaces for gatherings, presentations, or private meetings.
- Desirable Location. Serviced offices are usually located in prime locations where people need office space.
- More Flexible Lease. You will likely get a much more flexible lease than with a traditional office, allowing you to grow or contract as needed.
- Maintenance Included. You will have no concerns about maintenance with a serviced office, as included in your contract.
Of course, there are some disadvantages with serviced offices, including:
- Generic Look. Serviced offices tend to look a bit bland and generic.
- Shared Spaces. You do not own these, so you'll need to book them in advance.
- Expenses. The services you pay for through the management company are likely to be more expensive.
Co-working spaces are less likely to be the home of an established business, but they are incredibly popular with entrepreneurs and start-up businesses.
Some of the advantages of co-working spaces are as follows:
- Flexibility. Co-working spaces provide an incredible degree of flexibility. Generally, you can come and go as you please without being tied down by a lease agreement.
- Low Cost. You will not need hefty monthly rental payments or commit to a long-term lease.
- Collaboration. Co-working spaces tend to be full of highly social people, providing a hive of collaboration.
However, before you think that you're entering into some creative paradise, you need to consider several drawbacks to a co-working space.
- Lack of Privacy. The open-plan, collaborative nature of a co-working space does not lend itself to privacy and confidentiality. If you have a sensitive issue to deal with or a private meeting with a key client, you'll maybe have to take it off-site.
- Demand For Resources. As there are likely to be more users, competition for any shared resources, such as a presentation room, will be high. You'll need to plan far in advance.
- Little Say Over the Space. You will have little say over the layout, decor, and environment of the co-working space.
There are significant advantages and disadvantages to both a co-working space and a serviced office. Your choice may well come down to the stage of your business. For the fledgling company, a co-working space could fit. However, this is less likely to be the case for an established business, and a serviced office should be your choice in this case.
Ten Tips To Finding Your Ideal Office Space
Are you looking for the ideal office space for your business? If so, we've compiled ten expert tips to help you find the office space you're looking for, without busting your budget.
Finding a suitable office space can be challenging. You don't want to move in somewhere, to shortly discover that your new area is lacking in some vital aspect or other. Also, you don't want to blow your budget on securing something you deem to be perfect.
Considering the following factors should ensure that you choose an ideal office space for your business:
#1. Location. Do you need to be in the heart of the city, near your customers, or handy to suppliers?
#2. Size. What is the minimum space you need? Do you have plans for expansion? Have you enough space for all your crucial office operations? Have you considered sharing office space?
#3. Optimising Commuting Compensation. Where do your key staff or majority commute from? Does it make financial sense to choose an office space nearer to them? Could this reduce costs and increase productivity?
#4. Identify Must Haves, Should Haves, Could Haves. What factors are crucial in your office space? Which would you benefit from, and which ones are just nice to have?
#5. Layout. Does the office layout make the best use of the space? Is there sufficient light and ventilation? Does the plan make a functional working space?
#6. Hours of Operation. Are there any restrictions on working hours? What about out-of-hours use, for instance, networking or marketing events?
#7. Parking. How many parking spaces do you need? Do customers and suppliers need occasional parking? Is there scope to get additional parking from the landlord? Is the parking onsite or nearby?
#8. Consider the Whole Cost, Not Just the Rent. Are there business rates to be paid? What are the monthly maintenance and service charges? Can you move in and operate straight away, or is there work to be done first? Is the rent 'all-inclusive'? Are there any additional regular costs associated with the tenancy?
#9. Flexibility of Lease Terms. What are the lease terms? Do you have break clauses in the event you need to upsize or scale back? Are there any penalties involved in doing so?
#10. Working & Communal Areas. Do you have sufficient working spaces, such as workstations, server area, stationery stores, boardroom, classroom, etc? What about communal areas like reception, waiting area, canteen, relaxation area, bathrooms, and so on?
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when looking for new office space in Manchester is to look for the 'perfect' solution. The chances are that there is not a perfect match that meets your criteria and budget. You can waste a lot of time and effort searching for the perfect office space, and then end up moving on from it twelve months later due to expansion.
Hopefully, this brief article will help you develop a better idea of what you should think about when considering new office space. With these factors considered, you're more likely to find the ideal office space for your business without busting your budget.